Learning more about the Wheel of the year will not only help you feel more in-tune with nature, but it will give you rituals to use year-round to connect with yourself and Mother Earth. This topic can seem a little overwhelming when getting started, so I will provide you with a quick overview with this post. I’ll cover what the Wheel of the Year is, who uses it, how to use it, and some resources, including a free printable of a wheel that I created. Keep scrolling to read more and find a link to your free copy.
What is the Wheel of the year?
The Wheel of the year is comprised of eight Sabbats or festivals that occur on or around the same day each year. The eight Sabbats include four solar events, i.e., the Summer Solstice, Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, and Fall Equinox. The remaining four festivals are based on seasonal changes and farming. Here’s a rundown of the eight Sabbats, what they align with, and their dates:
Yule: December 21st – January 1st // Winter Solstice
Imbolc: February 1st // Holiday is known as Candlemas, which signifies the first signs of Spring
Ostara: March 20th // Spring Equinox (first day of Spring)
Beltane: April 30th – May 1st // A fire ceremony that signifies the midpoint between Spring and Summer
Litha: June 21st or 22nd // Summer Solstice
Lughnasadh: July 31st – August 1st // Marks the first harvest of the year
Mabon: September 21st – September 23rd // Fall Equinox
Samhain: October 31st – November 1st // Samhain is considered the witch’s New Year. It is the third and final harvest season and ends the seasonal Wheel.
Who Celebrates the Wheel of the Year?
You don’t have to subscribe to a specific religion or label to use or observe the Wheel of the year. Most notably, Wiccans, Pagans, Neo-Pagans, and practicing witches reference the Wheel of the Year for festivals and rituals. If you don’t identify with any of these labels, but like to dabble in ritual or spellwork, that’s perfectly fine! You’ll still be able to find many uses for this powerful tool.
Where did the Wheel originate?
The Wheel of the year is rooted in several cultures and combines festivals from Romans, ancient Greeks, Germanic cultures of northern Europe, and the Celts. It’s for this reason that you’ll see a variety of names for some of the festivals and differing dates. For example, Lughnasadh also goes by Lammas or Lughnasa, and Litha also goes by Midsummer.
The full Wheel of eight festivals is a relatively new creation that came about in the 1950s. The groups listed above each celebrated some of the eight Sabbats, but the evidence is lacking that any of them celebrated all eight. Combining all eight into a wheel was a way to honor and streamline all of the celebrations that many Pagans and Wiccans hold dear.
How to Celebrate The Wheel of The Year
Learning to implement the Wheel of the Year can feel overwhelming, but the way that you work with it can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. There are countless ways to celebrate each celebration on the Wheel of the Year. Check out the list below for a general list of ways you can enjoy the Wheel of the Year. For specific rituals and celebration suggestions, check out The Goddess Discovery Book V2 or search our blog for the Sabbat you’d like to learn more about.
- Spend time outside in nature.
- Attend a local celebration or create your own for some or all festivals.
- Conduct a ritual for each Sabbat. You can find several ritual examples for each Sabbat by searching the Sabbat on our blog.
- Add decor and scents to your house based on the Wheel of the Year.
- Cleanse and update your altar or sacred space for each Sabbat.
- Cook specific foods for each of the Sabbats.
- Enjoy crafts with your Goddess circle or kiddos based around the Sabbats.
- Go within and try journaling for each Sabbat.
- Perform a unique tarot or oracle card spread.
Here’s an example of how I often perform my altar update for a new Sabbat.
Want to dig deeper into using the Wheel of the year in your practice? Here are three ways to learn more:
1. Click here to get access to the free Wheel of the Year printout.
2. Click here to purchase The Goddess Discovery Book V2, which goes into more detail about the Wheel of the Year and contains wheel images for both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, rituals, and journal prompts for each Sabbat.
3. Find links to blog posts specifically for each Sabbat below.
For a deeper dive into this topic, here are some of my favorite books about the Wheel of the Year: The Magical Year by Danu Forest, The Great Work by Tiffany Lizac, and The Modern Witchcraft Guide to the Wheel of the Year by Judy Ann Nock.
I hope you find the Wheel of the year as special and magical as I do! It has so many positive and powerful applications to bring life to your sacred practices.
Cassie Uhl is a published author, artist, intuitive, and founder of Zenned Out. She created Zenned Out in 2012 with the mission to build a brand that normalizes spirituality. In 2018 she self-published her popular and interactive Goddess Discovery Book series. In 2020 her writing and art became more mainstream with Understanding Auras, Understanding Crystals, and Understanding Chakras, published by The Quarto Group. Her writing style and art combine to help marry accessibility with deep spiritual topics. It is her goal to help others understand and live spiritual practices that can change the world. Inspired by her open-minded grandmother, Cassie has been meditating and working with her energy since her teenage years. She received her 200hr YTT in 2012 with a focus on breathwork. Now, her work focuses on energy work, journeying, mediumship, death midwifery, and healing through traditional Celtic shamanic practices.